One of the wackiest Super Bowl betting markets of all is on the coin toss. Yes, you can actually put money — and possibly win — off of the coin flip that happens before kickoff. In fact, this is one of the most popular Super Bowl prop bets every single year. This is why we’ve created an entire betting guide strictly for the Super Bowl coin toss. Everything you need to know about it, we’re covering in this article so stick with us for fun, history, tips, and more.

How Super Bowl Coin Toss Works

As you all know, the Super Bowl matchup is between the best AFC and NFC teams in a given year. When this NFL championship game is played, a coin is used to determine two things. One, who gets the ball in the first or second half. Two, what side of the field a team also gets. That’s it.

Team captains from both teams will meet in the middle of the field for the coin toss. There might be “honorary” captions alongside them — this is mostly for the pomp and pageantry. In Super Bowl 57 between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, honorary captions were from the Pat Tillman Foundation (a former NFL player with the Arizona Cardinals).

 

 

Anywho, the “visiting” team always gets to call the coin toss. The visiting team is the one that had the worse regular-season record of the two. Last year, the Chiefs counted as the visiting team. They ended up choosing tails over heads, which was correct. Because the coin landed tails, Kansas City got to choose whether they would receive the ball first in the opening quarter or coming out of halftime. The Chiefs deferred to the second half.

Since KC deferred the ball first, they earned the right to choose what side of the field to defend first — the left or the right side. However, that choice would’ve gone to Philadelphia if Kansas City had elected to receive the ball first.

NFL coin tosses are rarely ever shown on TV with the Super Bowl being an exception. This is a big part of the pregame and a camera will be in the thick of it, sometimes even zooming in on the result — hence why bettors have come to love the coin flip.

The coin toss prop returns on Sunday, February 11, 2024. This is the date of the forthcoming Super Bowl 58. Ironically, it’ll be held at the Raiders’ home in Las Vegas, Nevada — the gambling mecca of the world. No matter who ends up in the “big game” (title frontrunners this year are Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers, among others), eyes will be on the coin flip for betting purposes.

Types of Super Bowl Coin Toss Bets

Believe it or not, coin toss betting comes in more ways than one. Here are a few different coin toss bets routinely available on Super Bowl Sunday:

Heads Or Tails

All right, most Super Bowl coin toss odds are associated with the simple result of which lands — heads or tails? It’s a true 50-50 result though the odds might be “juiced” as we’ll explain momentarily.

This prop bet is as old as time. Well, maybe not that old, but it was even a thing in the original Super Bowl I. But variations of the bet have come out more recently that help “spice up” the winner of the coin toss.

Coin Toss Winner

With this prop bet, bettors choose which team —the AFC or NFC side — will get their choice to kick or receive the ball. Instead of betting heads or tails, the sportsbook puts lines for the two respective teams.

Remember, the away team only gets to choose IF they win the coin toss. If they call wrong, then the “home” team decides whether to kick off or receive the ball to start the game.

Coin Toss and Win Super Bowl

This is essentially a two-leg parlay here. With this prop, bettors have to pick yes or no on whether the team that wins the coin toss will end up winning the Vince Lombardi Trophy too. Both results have to hit or else this bet is cooked.

The yes usually pays out quite well since it’s a mult-outcome result. The issue is that bettors have no way of knowing who’ll win the coin toss ahead of time. For instance, maybe the Super Bowl is being played between the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks and you think the Bengals are winning it. Well, it’s hard to predict whether Cincy will actually win the coin toss to start with. So yes, this is a risky bet, hence the better payout.

In the history of the Super Bowl, the coin-toss winner is 25-32 in the big game. Perhaps winning the flip is actually a curse?

Understanding Super Bowl Coin Toss Odds

Alright, let’s talk about betting odds associated with the coin flip Super Bowl. You’ll need to understand what the betting lines are as it affects your possible payout.

Let’s keep it simple and as an example, use the regular bet on Super Bowl coin toss heads or tails. Maybe heads and tails each has a -105 betting line. This odds format is “American” style and most likely to be used with the NFL, well, cause it’s an American sport.

This -105 betting line means you would need to bet $105 dollars to profit $100 exactly. If the odds were -110, you’d need to risk $110 to make that same $100 figure. Easy enough, right?

You might see +100 odds from time to time. The same rule applies here in that a $100 wager equals $100 profit. In a perfect world, this coin-toss bet would have +100 odds both ways because those are the true odds.

However, we live in an imperfect world, and the sportsbook putting out these lines need to get paid too. That’s why -105 or -110 betting lines are common. That little extra is the “juice” or “vig”, acting as a small operating fee for a sports betting site.

This is why it’s never a bad idea to go “line shopping” before making a coin toss bet (or any other on the Super Bowl for that matter). Line shopping is when you go from sportsbook to sportsbook to compare betting odds. If you see one betting site offering better odds than others, then it makes sense to give them your money.

Super Bowl Coin Toss History

There have been 57 Super Bowls played up until this point. We tracked down the Super Bowl coin toss results in every game to see if any trends stand out.

You’ll probably be surprised to learn that no, there are no prevailing trends. It’s all random, as you’d expect when flipping a coin. For what it’s worth, tails has a slight all-time advantage, winning 30 times to heads 27 times. “Tails never fails” as they say, right?

For your convenience, we’ve listed previous super bowl coin toss results below. We’re sticking to recent history as in the most recent Super Bowl coin toss results:

Super Bowl Team Coin Toss Result Coin Toss Winner Wins Game
2023 Kansas City Chiefs Tails Yes
2022 Cincinnati Bengals Heads No
2021 Kansas City Chiefs Heads No
2020 San Francisco 49ers Tails No
2019 Los Angeles Rams Tails No
2018 New England Patriots Heads No
2017 Atlanta Falcons Tails No
2016 Carolina Panthers Tails No
2015 Seattle Seahawks Tails No
2014 Seattle Seahawks Tails Yes
2013 Baltimore Ravens Heads Yes
2012 New England Patriots Heads No
2011 Green Bay Packers Heads Yes
2010 New Orleans Saints Heads Yes
2009 Arizona Cardinals Heads No
2008 New York Giants Tails Yes
2007 Chicago Bears Heads No
2006 Seattle Seahawks Tails No
2005 Philadelphia Eagles Tails No
2004 Carolina Panthers Tails No
2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tails Yes
2002 St Louis Rams Heads No
2001 New York Giants Tails No
2000 St Louis Rams Tails Yes

Super Bowl Coin Toss Betting Strategies

Look, flipping a coin is a completely random event (mostly), but even then, there are some strategies worth employing in the coin toss Super Bowl bet. We mentioned going line shopping earlier and we’ll say it again because it has money-saving potential.

But as for the actual toss itself, teams do have tendencies when it comes to choosing heads or tails, as well as to defer or kick. For instance, long-time Super Bowl fixtures, the New England Patriots, almost always called heads and deferred. This applies to regular season or playoff games. Knowing this, you’d at least know what they’d choose to do IF they won the Super Bowl toss (this is ultimately the unknown).

Is It Legal To Bet On Super Bowl Coin Toss?

Yes and no. Legality depends on what state you live in inside the United States (or Canada). Even if sports betting is legal in that state, gambling on non-on-field outcomes — which is what the coin toss technically is — might be barred.

The best workaround to this is just to gamble at an offshore betting site. These bypass many U.S. laws because they’re housed in foreign countries (where betting is completely legal). Our favorite offshore gambling platforms are listed below for your convenience:

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Where To Bet On Super Bowl Coin Toss?

You just read 1,500 words on the “art” of the Super Bowl coin toss, congratulations! The only thing left now is to actually throw money on this random, but fun prop bet. To do just that, might we recommend one of the online betting sites listed above. Any one of these will do the job as they ranked high in our latest sportsbook reviews.

Often times, the major names — BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel— can’t hang with the offshore sites when it comes to bonus bets and/or a promo. That means your first bet or two could be “on the house” at our recommended bookmakers. We don’t know about you, but free money to bet on the wide range of Super Bowl bets sounds like a killer deal to us.

Between game betting (moneyline or over/under) to props (MVP winner, Gatorade bath, national anthem length, halftime show), any one of these sites has you covered with the best bets for the Super Bowl. Bank on it — literally!


Meet the author

Eric Uribe

Eric has been passionate about sports since he was 10 years old. He brings over 10 years of sports journalism experience to his expert coverage of sports betting. Hailing from the US, Eric leverages his diverse expertise covering sports at all levels – from high schoo...